Drop in children’s entries at Mòd bucks recent upward trend

Twin sisters Rowan and Rebecca Morris from Port Ellen won the under-13 duet for Gaelic learners.

Twin sisters Rowan and Rebecca Morris from Port Ellen won the under-13 duet for Gaelic learners.

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ROYAL National Mòd organisers expressed surprise yesterday at a year-on-year drop in the number of children’s competitors at Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival, being held in Stornoway this week.

As events got underway in 33 poetry, drama, song and music contests for young Gaels aged 5 to 19 on day four of the Mòd, it was revealed that the 1,700 children entered this year is a slight fall on last year’s Mòd in Oban, and ends a trend of increased numbers over recent years.

Islay Junior Gaelic Choir, led by choir master Arlene MacKerrell, won three trophies in choral singing competitions.

Islay Junior Gaelic Choir, led by choir master Arlene MacKerrell, won three trophies in choral singing competitions.

In contrast, adult participants have experienced a slight rise, to 1,400 this year. The unexpected fall in the number of young performers also comes at time of rising numbers of pupils in Gaelic medium education. But this year’s entries in children’s categories are an increase on the numbers recorded when the Mod was last held in Stornoway, five years ago.

In addition, the last four Mods have been on the mainland, offering easier accessibility for many competitors.

An Comunn officials admitted the year-on-year decrease in entries was a concern which would have to be examined, but added that the longer term trend of annual increases has set the bar high.

“As usual the (overall) numbers are healthy,” said An Comunn chief executive John Morrison. “There was been a slight decrease in youth numbers but we are not quite sure why and we will have to look at that.”

One of the highlights of the children’s competitions yesterday came in duet singing, when the under-13 learners section was won by nine-year-old twins Rowan and Rebecca Morris, of Port Ellen Primary School, Islay. The Murdo Macfarlane Trophy for under-13 folk music was won by Na Rudhaich, a folk group from Point, Isle of Lewis. The award is named after a Lewis-born Bard whose Gaelic poetry, songs and pipe tunes, has been an inspiration for Gaelic artists and musicians. Chair of the Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group, Councillor Hamish Fraser presented a £300 prize to the winning group.

“It’s been a delight to be present here today to see the young people perform to such a high standard,” said Cllr Fraser. “The standard keeps improving each year and all the young people taking part should feel very proud of their performances. I’ve every confidence that they will all progress and become successful ambassadors for Gaelic in the future.”

The children’s competitions continue today, and adult competitions begin tomorrow, with this year’s Gold Medal Final taking place on Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, the National Library of Scotland announced yesterday that historic information about the history of 125-year-old An Comunn Gàidhealach is being made available online, as the Library continues its commitment to Gaelic which has seen more than 1200 Gaelic books, papers and documents made available online via its website in the past few years.

The Library is digitising An Comunn’s publications in its collection, including all the Mòd programmes - allowing people to search for names of competitors in years gone by. The material is available at http://digital.nls.uk/an-comunn-gaidhealach/

The National Library is also hoping to enrich its Gaelic collection by appealing to everyone at the Mòd to consider contributing any publications or material they may have at home. “We don’t have many Mòd programmes from before 1966,” said general collections curator Jennifer Giles, “and it would be great to fill in this and other gaps in our collection. We would be keen to hear from anyone who can help add to the national collection.”

Last week the Library also announced a new partnership with the popular website Wikipedia to recruit a Gaelic speaker to help develop Uicipeid, the online Gaelic Wikipedia.

MÒD RESULTS: MONDAY

ORAL (LEARNERS)

C150 Poetry Recitation (16-18)

1 Gillian Maclean, Sgoil MhicNeacail.

C100 (13-15)

1 Ryan Johnston, Bogh Mòr.

2 Elizabeth MacMillan-Currie, Ìle.

3 Rachel Bolton, CGM - Loch Alainn.

C49A (11-12)

1 Mirren Brown, Bun-sgoil Port Ilein.

2 Freya Maclean, Còisir Òg an Rubha.

3 Eve Munro, Bun-sgoil Port Ilein.

C49 (9-10) (Cowal Trophy)

1 Rowan Morris, Bun-sgoil Port Ilein.

2 Tom Davis, Sgoil Shiaboist.

3 (equal) Rebecca Morris, Bun-sgoil Port Ilein and Isla Crosbie, Bun-sgoil Chille Chòmhain.

C26A (7-8) (Falkirk Rotary Club Trophy)

1 Mary Morrison, Sgoil an Rubha.

2 Scott Mac a’ Phì, Bun-sgoil Achadh na Creige.

3 Rufus Hughes, Bun-sgoil Achadh na Creige.

C26 (5-6) (Phemie Wilson Memorial Trophy)

1 Rachel Swallow, Bun-sgoil Chondobhrait.

2 Morven Burns, Bun-sgoil Chondobhrait.

3 Niamh Dalton, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu.

C24 Conversation (5-8)

1 Rufus Hughes, Bun-sgoil Achadh na Creige.

2 Scott Mac a’ Phì, Bun-sgoil Achadh na Creige.

3 Fionnlagh Calum MacDhòmhnaill, Bun Sgoil Ulapuil.

C25 Story Telling (5-8) (Daisy’s Den Trophy)

1 Scott Mac a’ Phì, Bun-Sgoil Achadh-na Creige.

2 Donald Andrew Fletcher, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu.

3 Fionnlagh Calum MacDhòmhnaill, Bun Sgoil Ulapuil.

CHORAL (LEARNERS)

C77 Two-Part Harmony (under 13) (Susan Paterson Caledonian MacBrayne Trophy)

1 Comunn Gàidhealach Mhuile.

C78 Puirt-a-beul (under 13) (Olive Campbell Trophy)

1 Rionnagan Rois.

2 Port Ellen Primary School Gaelic Choir.

3 Comunn Gàidhealach Mhuile.

C03 Unison (Rural Primaries) (Badenoch and Strathspey Area Committee Trophy)

1 Còisir Ghàidhlig Bun-sgoil Phort Ilein.

2 Còisir Ghàidhlig Bun-sgoil Bogh Mòr.

C76 Unison (under 13) (Donald and Maimie MacPhail Trophy)

1 Rionnagan Rois.

2 Seòid Lacasdail.

3 Bun-sgoil Lacasdail.

Darlington Gaelic Society Silver Jubilee Trophy for Gaelic - Rionnagan Rois.

Morag Robb Memorial Trophy for Music - Rionnagan Rois.

CHORAL (OPEN)

C173 Unison (under 19) (Queen Elizabeth 1937 Coronation Trophy)

1 Còisir Òg Ghàidhlig Ìle.

2 Falkirk Junior Gaelic Choir.

3 Glasgow Islay Junior Gaelic Choir.

C174 Two-Part Harmony (under 19) (Tom Crawford Trophy)

1 Còisir Òg Ghàidhlig Ìle.

VOCAL SOLOS (LEARNERS)

C103 Boys (13-15) (James C. MacPhee Memorial Medal)

1 Ryan Johnston, Bogh Mòr.

2 Ross McLeish, Àrd-sgoil an Òbain.

3 Oscar Tormod Fish, Sgoil MhicNeacail.

C51A Girls (11-12) (Ronald MacEachen Memorial Cup)

1 Eve Stewart, Rionnagan Rois.

2 Jessica Gordon, Rionnagan Rois.

3 Kirsty Nicolson, Còisir Òg an Rubha.

C51 Girls (9-10) (Mrs Roderick B. Munro Trophy)

1 Talia Graham, Sgoil a’ Bhac.

2 Anna MacLeod, Sgoil Sir E Scott.

3 Layla MacIntyre, CGM - Loch Alainn.

C52A Boys (11-12)

1 Hamish Kennedy, CGM - Loch Alainn.

2 Nathan Rogers, Bun-sgoil Lacasdail.

3 Alexander Dugdale, Comunn Gàidhealach Mhuile.

C52 Boys (9-10) (Dr Archie MacKinnon, Islay, Memorial Trophy)

1 Seumas Macrae, Sgoil Lìonail.

2 Calum MacLeod, Sgoil Loch nam Madaidh.

3 Don Neil Macdonald, Sgoil an Taobh Siar.

C27A Boys and Girls (7-8) (Hugh Macintyre Memorial Trophy)

1 Aimee MacLeod, Sgoil nan Loch.

2 Verity Lawrence, CGM - Loch Alainn.

3 Alasdair Iain MacKay, Bun-sgoil Àth-Tharracail.

C27 (5-6) (Joan Campbell Memorial Trophy)

1 Sophie Stewart, Rionnagan Rois.

2 Niamh Dalton, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu.

3 Morven Burns, Bun-sgoil Chondobhrait.

C145A Traditional 16-18 (Provost of Falkirk Medal)

1 Mairead MacSween, Acadamaidh Bràghaid Albann.

2 Otilie Lawrence, CGM - Loch Alainn.

3 Laura Nicoll, Acadamaidh Bràghaid Albann.

VOCAL SOLOS (OPEN)

C177 Previous Prizewinners (Skelmorlie and District Highland Association Quaich)

1 Emily Robertson, Còisir Òg na h-Eaglais Brice.

2 Ruairidh Gray, Sgoil Lionacleit.

3 Katie Macfarlane, Àrd-Ruigh.

DUETS (LEARNERS)

C79 (under 13) (Angus MacTavish Memorial Trophy)

1 Rowan Morris & Rebecca Morris, Bun-sgoil Port Ilein.

2 Freya Maclean & Aaliyah MacDonald, Còisir Òg an Rubha.

ACTION SONG (OPEN)

C87B (under 13)

1 Clann Thròndairnis.

2 Commun Gàidhealach Mhuile.

FOLK GROUPS (OPEN)

C172 (under 19) (Allan Thomas Mitchell Trophy)

1 Strung, Drawn & Quartered.

2 Faram.

3 Còmhlan Acadamaidh Dheis.

C172A (under 13) (Murdo MacFarlane Trophy)

1 Na Rudhaich.

2 Ainglean Theàrlaich.

3 Clann Thròndairnis (A).

WAULKING SONG

C180 (under 19) (Harris Tweed Authority Award)

1 Clann Thròndairnis.

2 Còisir Òg an Rubha.

DRAMA (OPEN)

C170A (under 19) (John Niven Anderson Memorial Trophy)

1 Àrd-sgoil MhicNeacail.

C87A (under 13) (Donald MacDonald Memorial Trophy)

1 Clann Thròndairnis.

2 Sgoil nan Loch.

3 Bun-sgoil Lacasdail C.

PIPING

B360 Piobaireachhd (James R. Johnston Memorial Trophy)

1 J. Decker Forrest, Isleornsay.

2 James MacPhee, Inbhir Nis.

3 Brìghde Chaimbeul, An Caol.

B361 March, Strathspey and Reel (John T. MacRae Cup)

1 J. Decker Forrest, Isleornsay.

2 James MacPhee, Inbhir Nis.

3 Brìghde Chaimbeul, An Caol.

B362 Hornpipe and Jig (Argyllshire Gathering Quaich)

1 J. Decker Forrest, Isleornsay.

2 James MacPhee, Inbhir Nis.

3 Brìghde Chaimbeul, An Caol.

C130 March (16-18) (Royal Highland Fusiliers Cup)

1 Angus Finlay MacPhee, Inverness.

2 Eòghainn Peutan, Àrd Sgoil Phort Rìgh.

3 Calum Craib, Beinn na Faoghla.

C131 Strathspey and Reel (16-18) (Col. Murdoch MacTaggart, Bowmore, Memorial Trophy)

1 Calum Craib, Beinn na Faoghla.

2 Eòghainn Peutan, Àrd-sgoil Phort Rìgh.

3 Angus Finlay MacPhee, Inverness.

C132 Piobaireachhd (under 19)(W.G.G. Wilson Trophy)

1 Angus Finlay MacPhee, Acadamaidh Rìoghail Inbhir Nis, and

2 Calum Craib, Beinn na Faoghla.

3 Eòghainn Peutan, Àrd-sgoil Phort Rìgh.

C108 March (13-15) (Roderick Munro Trophy)

1 Ceitidh M NicDhòmhnaill, Barraigh.

2 Finlay MacVicar, Sgoil Lionacleit.

3 Eilidh Morag Nic a’ Phi, Acadamaidh Rìoghail Inbhir Nis.

C109 Strathspey and Reel (13-15) (Lighting Electrical Cup)

1 Ceitidh M NicDhòmhnaill, Barraigh.

2 Finlay MacVicar, Sgoil Lionacleit.

3 Eilidh Morag Nic a’ Phi, Acadamaidh Rìoghail Inbhir Nis.

C86 March (under 13) (Roderick Ross Memorial Trophy)

1 Joseph Nicholson, Uibhist a Deas.

2 Eala Niamh McElhinney, Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu.

3 Laura Robertson, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Lochabair.

C85 Chanter (under 13)

1 Ryan Mac an T-saoir, Sgoil Lionacleit.

2 Heather Ross, Bun-sgoil Inbhir Pheofharain.

3 Mairi NicIain, Sgoil Lionacleit.

ACCORDION

C178 (under 19) (Smith Mearns Trophy)

1 Kyle Gordon Rowan, Àrd-sgoil Firrhill.

2 Archie MacKechnie, Acadamaidh Dholar.

3 Duncan Shirkie, Sgoil MhicNeacail.

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